drinks gluten-free paleo vegan

DIY Cold-Brew Iced Coffee

May 25, 2014

Want to make the best iced coffee ever? Try this DIY Cold-Brew Iced Coffee! This easy step-by-step recipe tutorial helps you make your very own batch of cold-brew in just 12 hands-off hours.

I honestly believe that every single person should live in New York City at some point in their lives. I know this isn’t necessarily feasible for most people but I can honestly say that I learned more about myself in the year and a half I spent living there than in the previous 10 years. Life there is fast-paced and it can oftentimes be a struggle to keep up. Not to mention the FOMO (fear of missing out) you experience when you’re a poor research assistant who can just barely afford her absurd Manhattan rent.

DIY Cold Brew Iced Coffee - start cold-brewing your own coffee for the best iced coffee ever! This easy step-by-step recipe tutorial is easier than you think!I learned how to move efficiently (I moved three times!!), how to not lose your marbles waiting in line for EVERYTHING and more importantly that I am capable of so much more than I think. If you can make it in NYC, you can make it anywhere. Granted I didn’t last very long there, but it was more that I was exhausted and was craving a slightly slower pace than what living on 14th street can offer.

One of the most valuable skills I mastered was the art of budgeting. As a foodie, this definitely wasn’t easy. I had to limit myself to eating out twice a week which meant cooking every other meal. I definitely attribute my decent kitchen abilities to this time. I’d also like to thank Trader Joe’s for single-handedly supplying all of my groceries and allowing me to afford my rent. Though I might have other things to say about the outrageous line that wraps around the store and goes out the door!

DIY Cold Brew Iced Coffee // thehealthymaven.comMy first summer in NYC I spent an absurd amount of money on Iced Coffee. I drank it like water…please don’t judge. By the time my second summer rolled around I knew I had to either quit the stuff or figure out how to make it on my own. As it turns out, it wasn’t very hard to master. Some of my favourite memories from that summer are of C and I walking through Washington Square Park with our homemade Iced Coffees. I also totally miss our ridiculously Patriotic double-walled cups we bought for the 4th of July but then proceeded to use the rest of the summer.

I’m not kidding when I say that the amount of money we saved by making our own Iced Coffee allowed for a lot of summer adventures in and around the city. NYC taught me how to spend my money wisely, a lesson for which I am eternally grateful.

P.s. The iced coffee you buy in coffee shops isn’t just hot coffee on ice. Good iced coffee has been cold-brewed and is never heated. The coffee diva in me cannot drink iced “hot” coffee.


DIY Cold-Brew Iced Coffee

  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Total Time: 12 hours
  • Yield: 5 cups 1x


  • 1 cup good quality ground coffee beans
  • 5 cups water
  • Ice cubes (I freeze leftover coffee in an ice cube tray)
  • optional: milk (I use homemade vanilla almond milk), sugar, spices
  • supplies: large jug or jar, cheesecloth or a nut-milk bag, wooden spoon


  1. In a large jar or jug combine coffee grounds and water.
  2. Cover and let sit for at least 12 hours (or longer) in the refrigerator.
  3. Remove from refrigerator and stir with a wooden spoon.
  4. Strain coffee through two layers of cheese cloth over a large bowl or jug or use a nut-milk bag (that’s what I use).
  5. Add several ice cubes to a glass and pour 1 cup of iced coffee on top.
  6. Add in milk, sugar or mixings of choice.
  7. Store iced coffee in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

DIY Cold Brew Iced Coffee - start cold-brewing your own coffee for the best iced coffee ever! This easy step-by-step recipe tutorial is easier than you think!Have you ever made your own Iced Coffee? Are you good at budgeting?


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  • Reply
    Arman @ thebigmansworld
    May 25, 2014 at 5:19 am

    Another thing you’re maven brain has taught me…and shared in Common. although, I walked solo through Union square with my iced coffee with cream. The amount of $$ I spent on it from Starbucks before realising the coffee trucks had the same 1/4 of the price.

  • Reply
    meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles
    May 25, 2014 at 5:51 am

    I basically grew up on the UES and only in recent years have learned to appreciate and LOVE Union Square. Lately my Fridays involve me heading in and ending up on 14th street for dinner in the area. Too bad you don’t still live here! And yeah, the budgeting thing is a must anywhere but for real in NYC. The prices are just insane and if you don’t leave the city, you lose touch with just how much they are charging you.

  • Reply
    Heather @ Run Like a G!
    May 25, 2014 at 7:17 am

    I wish I liked coffee because I would totally be addicted to this stuff!! I loved this post. I love learning about people and their experiences. This post was kind of perfect for me right now because I have been telling myself that I need to start taking opportunities that come my way instead of being scared! Thank you 🙂

  • Reply
    May 25, 2014 at 7:44 am

    So… I thought I was a coffeeseur (coffee connoisseur)… and I had no idea about real cold brew. Thank the coffee lord (well, you) I’ve now been educated! *Makes note to do this before bed tonight*

  • Reply
    Amanda @ .running with spoons.
    May 25, 2014 at 8:04 am

    I had no idea that real iced coffee was never heated, which makes the coffee lover in me a little ashamed. Buuuuuuut that might be because I’ve never tried to make my own and I barely ever order them since I prefer hot coffee… even in the summer… as long as there’s AC 😆

  • Reply
    Kim @ Hungry Healthy Girl
    May 25, 2014 at 8:32 am

    I’ve never made my own iced coffee because most of the recipes I come across seem too complicated. I love the simplicity of this recipe…. can’t wait to try it. I think NYC would really agree with me… I’m vey fast-paced and love the city life. The cost of living, not so much. 😉

  • Reply
    kaitlin @4loveofcarrots
    May 25, 2014 at 8:48 am

    I love Ice Coffee!! But my homemade version is left over coffee from the store that I keep in the refrigerator over night. I am def doing this from now on though!

  • Reply
    Jen @ Chase the Red Grape
    May 25, 2014 at 10:28 am

    Iced coffee is where it’s at! I have to make my own as most folk in the UK (outside of London) think iced coffee is a frappucinno … :-I

    But at least I know the cold brew secret! 🙂

  • Reply
    Mary Frances
    May 25, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    This is a life saver. I have just discovered the brilliance of iced coffee and can’t wait to try it at home. Thanks for this tutorial! And um, feel free to give me lessons on budgeting 😉

  • Reply
    May 25, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    I absolutely love making cold brew – it’s almost like an art to me! It’s so much fun experimenting with different types of coffee grounds and strainers. Definitely helps saves money – though I’m still a sucker for iced coffee from local places! 🙂

  • Reply
    May 25, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    I’ve never tried it, but so excited to try it out for the summer months!

  • Reply
    Chelsea @ Chelsea's Healthy Kitchen
    May 26, 2014 at 8:15 am

    I love you for this! JZ and I bought cold brew iced coffee from my favourite local coffee shop… for $7 each!! We couldn’t believe how pricey it was. Mind you, it was delicious and totally worth it, but I definitely won’t be making a habit out of it.

  • Reply
    May 26, 2014 at 9:07 am

    You’re such a homemaker. I HATE MOVING. HATE. HATE. HATE. But I think you should move to Edina so we can be housewives.

  • Reply
    May 26, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    OMG I’ve never made iced coffee but good to know it’s stupid-easy to do. I’ve already spent a fortune on iced coffee like two weeks into iced coffee season. Now all I need to do is find nut milk bags… xoxo

  • Reply
    Alexis @ Hummusapien
    May 26, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    Ermygerd I spend like half of my income on iced coffee. I’m addicted even though my stomach hates me with every sip. This looks amaaaaze!

  • Reply
    Kammie @ Sensual Appeal
    May 26, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    Yeah I need to start making my own coffee! I’ve been buying a ton (hot and iced). I don’t like hot coffee over ice either…it gets so watery! I’ll have to try making my own iced coffee soon, I haven’t ever tried this. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Reply
    May 26, 2014 at 10:23 pm

    So I’m lazy when it comes to iced coffee and will just stick with this morning’s leftovers paired with some ice, raw sugar, and almond milk. That is, unless you want to make this for me.

  • Reply
    Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health
    May 27, 2014 at 11:27 am

    i lived with my family in NY so didnt have to really worry about finances then but now,,im not sure if i can afford to live and be a foodie in that city 🙁 on a side note, yes i did spend a lot of money on coffee while i was there as well. thank you for sharing this!

  • Reply
    Alex @ Kenzie Life
    May 27, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    So I’m actually really glad you posted this, because I’ve been wanting to make good iced coffee! I’ve been making homemade iced chai lattés and it saves me so much money!

  • Reply
    Gabby @ the veggie nook
    May 29, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    I adore cold brew coffee and make it myself every summer! Can’t be bothered to spend money on it! Hollah tight budget!! I don’t know how you managed in NYC, sometimes I find Toronto overwhelming in ALL THE WAYS. Mad props girl!

  • Reply
    Julie Goes Healthy
    May 30, 2014 at 3:46 am

    […] made cold-brewed coffee the other day and need a giant […]

  • Reply
    Pittsburgh Restaurant Round-Up | Almost Getting It TogetherAlmost Getting It Together
    June 4, 2014 at 9:42 am

    […] Coffee Company – Iced Lavender Chai Tea Latte I wanted to get good quality coffee to cold brew coffee with Davida’s recipe. I was feeling a little sluggish and you have me at lavender anything, […]

  • Reply
    GiselleR @ Diary of an ExSloth
    June 5, 2014 at 9:49 pm

    Glad I found this before I lost half my paychecks to iced coffee at Starbucks this summer. This is so happening during meal prep this weekend 😀
    Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      June 7, 2014 at 10:27 am

      awesome! Just about to strain mine now! Starbucks and I share a long history but I’m happy to part ways 😉

  • Reply
    Kelsey @ Ramblings of Change
    June 7, 2014 at 9:12 am

    I am so so excited to try this! =)

  • Reply
    zojirushi coffee maker
    July 7, 2014 at 11:00 am

    zojirushi coffee maker

    DIY Cold-Brew Iced Coffee – The Healthy Maven

  • Reply
    Marvelous in my Monday | Hungry Healthy Girl
    July 21, 2014 at 2:00 am

    […] myself, I need to try making my own. There are so many homemade cold brew recipes out there. These both look really easy. At least TJ’s is cheaper than […]

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    Lose Weight
    July 24, 2014 at 6:58 am

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    August 17, 2014 at 2:01 am

    […] Oven is a great visual tutorial, but the coffee would be much too strong for my taste. Davida from The Healthy Maven and Jessica from How Sweet It Is use the same measurements and basically make their cold-brew […]

  • Reply
    April 5, 2015 at 11:34 am

    Great coffee recipe Davida. I’ll be making this. This will save me some trips to Starbucks 😀

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      April 5, 2015 at 8:03 pm

      Thank you! Has saved me countless times from those dreaded Starbucks trips!

  • Reply
    DIY Cold Brew Iced Coffee
    July 1, 2015 at 3:40 am

    […] here for the full […]

  • Reply
    August 19, 2018 at 9:56 pm

    Thanks for sharing! Grinding the beans before making the cold brew is more flavor, Cos it’s fresh enough.

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